Posted on February 18, 2015 There have been 0 comments
Midweek Chat with Emma Friedlander-Collins
This week’s midweek chat introduces one of our new CICO Books authors, Emma Friedlander-Collins. Emma’s first book Crochet Dress-Upis full of fab character costumes that will ensure your little ones stand out at every fancy dress party!
Hi Emma and welcome! We absolutely love Crochet Dress-Up! Where did you get your inspiration from?
Nearly all of the patterns in Crochet Dress-Up were made for my boys to wear and play in, so they’re really the inspiration for most of it. It started with the pirate hat when my eldest was only 3 and it just started growing from there. Every time they had a fancy dress thing to go to or a new book or tv show that they got into, rather than trotting off to a supermarket for a horrible polyester thing, for half the price and 20 times the fun we’d just make something else and it would be added to the dressing up box.
How did you get into crochet?
I’ve always made stuff, since I was tiny, and I tend to gravitate towards material, so lots of sewing and stitching. My Mum taught me to knit when I was young but I’ve always been horrible at it, dropping and adding stitches all over the place, but I’ve always loved wool. 5 years ago, when I was on maternity leave with my youngest I thought there had to be another way to use wool, and suddenly lit on crochet. I hopped online, learnt from tutorials, and haven’t stopped since.
What is your favourite costume in Crochet Dress-Up?
This is a really hard question because so many have happy, playful memories associated with them! If I had to pick one though? It would be the mermaid hair, I just WISH I’d had this when I was little, I would honestly never have taken it off.
Who is your crafty hero?
This week it’s Molla Mills, she is so inspiring, invigorating, and just so damn cool!
If you were going on a desert island, what would your one luxury item be?
I think it would be a pencil and drawing pad; you just can’t get bored if you’ve got something to sketch on or draws stories or just write down ideas – I always have them with me, so I couldn’t imagine being without them.
What has been your favourite part of putting together a book?
The whole thing has been brilliant – when the finished book finally arrived I was so excited I was brandishing it everywhere, on the school run, in the office! But in particular, I haven’t got the patience to make the same thing over and over again, what I love about crochet is designing and making up patterns – figuring out where and how you need to increase or reduce things to make a shape. I really enjoyed the process of thinking up and making all the costumes, and then seeing them photographed so beautifully.
If you’re anything like us, we’re sure you’ve had some crafty mishaps! What has been your best-worst one?!
Oh goodness, there have been heaps! The sweetest one is a shocking piece of knitting; I wanted to make my mum a scarf for Christmas, bought some beautiful yarn and set to making this thing. It came out the craziest shape you’ve ever seen, I’d added stitches all over the place, dropped them everywhere so it was full of holes, it was so far from scarf shape it’s not true, but all credit to my mum, she dutifully draped it in the general area of her neck, and still has it as a warmer on her bed.
Do you have any top tips for budding crocheters?
The wondorous thing about crochet is that if you don’t like it, or do something wrong you can just pull and start again, but you can’t drop a stitch, and an extra few here or there will make very little difference when you’ve finished (mostly!). So don’t be afraid to experiment and play around with it, enjoy it and you’ll find your crochet voice.
What has been your crafting highlight?
This is officially the hardest question ever. If it’s ‘makes’ then I can’t possibly choose, there have been so very many; the fibreglass helmet I made for my 30th roller-disco-futuristic-fancy-dress birthday party was awesome, but the candy skull rug coming out in the next book is equally amazing but completely different (this could go on all day!). But the biggest highlight is definitely having ‘Crochet Dress-Up’ published, it’s a craft dream come true.
I’m just finishing a new collection for a new book called ‘Big Hook Crochet’, which is really exciting, and I’ve finally taken the plunge and left the office job to pursue the crochet and craft more seriously. I’ve definitely got a lot more patterns in me, so fingers crossed it’ll all work out!
Crochet Dress-Up by Emma Friedlander-Collins is available here and you can follow more of her crafty adventures on her blog, Steel and Stitch.
You can also find the book and other fantastic craft books here on our site.